Parenting Tips for Supporting a Child who Lies
We’re all tempted to tell a tall tale now and again when we don’t want to face the consequences of our actions, or even if the truth is too painful. As kids begin to develop and learn to push the limits, lying is intriguing.
You may notice your kid start to tell a fib here and there, saying
“I didn’t push my brother!”
“that mark was already on the table.”
These lies are often harmless in nature and said to avoid punishment, test boundaries, to be socially accepted or receive attention. When you see these one-off lies become a pattern, it’s important to look at why. From there, there are therapeutic steps you can take towards supporting a child who lies:
When you catch your child in a lie, it’s essential to stay calm. Reacting with anger or frustration can make them more defensive and less likely to be honest in the future. Take a deep breath and approach the situation with a composed demeanor.
Encourage open and honest communication with your child. Let them know that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you value the truth. It can be easy to instill a sense of shame or guilt when you’re address lying in your child but it’s important to find a balance between discipline and removing shame. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
Try to understand why your child lied in the first place. Was it to avoid punishment, gain attention, or something else? Knowing the underlying motivation can help you address the root cause and find a point of connection.
When your child does tell the truth, even about something they might have initially lied about, praise their honesty. Positive reinforcement can encourage more truthful behavior in the future. Remember, growth is a process and it’s important to celebrate any step in the right direction.
As difficult as it can be when your child is lying, be assured that with the proper support, the phase will pass. By creating an environment where honesty is valued and by using constructive communication strategies, you can help your child become a trustworthy, responsible individual. If you need additional support with your child’s honesty, please connect with a member of the Decade2Connect team today!